Big games upcoming for OVC women’s basketball teams

Members+of+the+Eastern+womens+basketball+team+celebrate+their+win+over+Southern+Illinois-Edwardsville+on+Monday+in+Lantz+Arena.+The+Panthers+beat+the+Cougars+89-65.

Rob Le Cates | The Daily Eastern News

Members of the Eastern women’s basketball team celebrate their win over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Monday in Lantz Arena. The Panthers beat the Cougars 89-65.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

Nearly every women’s basketball team in the OVC has surpassed the halfway point of the conference season.

The top seven teams seemed more or less poised to head to Evansville next month for the OVC Tournament, with the eighth and final seed remaining up for grabs. Seeding will certainly change among those top seven, and one of the bottom three teams can possibly climb in the season’s final month.

As of now, Tennessee Tech sits atop the standings with an 8-2 conference record. The Golden Eagles have won six games in a row, the longest active streak in the OVC.

Belmont sits in second at 7-2 with third-place Murray State coming in at 7-3.

Austin Peay lost its last game, falling to 6-3 and sitting in fourth.

Eastern had climbed up to fifth place at 6-4, winning five of its last six conference games, including its last three, after a 1-3 start to conference play.

Tennessee State is also 6-4 after winning its last game to snap a three-game losing streak.

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville is the conference’s only .500 team with a 5-5 record.

There is then a decent drop off to seventh-place Tennessee-Martin and its 2-6 record.

Southeast Missouri is 1-9 and Morehead State is in last place at 0-10, having lost 17 games in a row overall.

In conference play, Belmont has the OVC’s top scoring offense at 74.9 per game. The Bruins are also allowing 54.9 points per game in conference play, the lowest in the conference.

This obviously gives them the lead in scoring margin at +20 points per game. Murray State comes second in that category at +10 points per game, having the fourth ranked offense and second ranked defense.

Eastern’s conference scoring margin is +6.3 points per game, the third-best in the OVC. The Panthers’ offense is ranked second with 73.8 points per game and their defense is ranked seventh, allowing 67.5 points per game.

Morehead State’s offense and defense both rank last in the conference in both offense and defense in OVC play, and are being outscored by 24.9 points per game in its 10 conference contests.

Individually, Murray State’s Katelyn Young has continued her stellar start to the season into conference play, scoring 20.5 points per game in conference games.

Eastern’s Lariah Washington ranks third in the conference in that category with 16.3 points per game.

There are some big games coming up for the top four teams in the conference. Austin Peay and Murray State will play on Thursday. Belmont and Tennessee Tech will then play on Saturday.

Eastern will have a chance to make up ground on the losing teams in those games. The Panthers have a rematch with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Thursday, a team they beat 89-65 on Monday. They then play Southeast Missouri on Saturday.

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]